Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Wall Street Journalist Evan Gershkovich could be released in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Thursday.
Vladimir Putin was asked about Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in an interview with Tucker Carlson.Putin said he wants Gershkovich to return to the US.Putin continued to double down on Russia’s decision to charge Gershkovich with espionage.
In a two-hour-long interview with Tucker Carlson in Moscow that aired on Thursday in the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would “not rule out” Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s release.
The American journalist has been awaiting trial for almost a year after being charged with espionage in March of 2023.
“We have done so many gestures of goodwill, out of decency, that I think we have run out of them,” Putin said after the former Fox News host asked at the end of a lengthy, often rambling interview if he’d be willing to release Gershkovich back to the US.
Putin said that he believes an agreement between the US and Russia regarding Gershkovich’s release can be reached and that the two countries have been in discussions.
“At the end of the day, it does not make any sense to keep him in prison in Russia,” Putin said.
“We are ready to talk. Moreover, the talks are underway, and there have been many successful examples of these talks crowned with success. Probably, this is going to be crowned with success as well,” Putin continued, adding that he wants Gershkovich to “return to his hometown.”
While Putin said he would not rule out Gershkovich’s release, he appeared to double down on charging the journalist with espionage.
“If a person gets secret information and does that in a conspiratorial manner, then this is qualified as espionage,” Putin said, adding that Gershkovich “was caught red-handed” receiving “classified, confidential information.”
Dow Jones, The Journal, and Gershkovich have denied these claims. The US State Department designated Gershkovich as “wrongfully detained” in April.
“It is chilling and outrageous that Evan has now spent 10 months of his life in prison, simply for doing his job,” Dow Jones and the Journal said in January, adding that they “demand Evan’s immediate release.”
Gershkovich was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service on March 29 while on a reporting trip, The Journal reported.
In 2020, Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after Russia charged him with espionage.